Linking Participation and Economic Advancement

IDS will draw upon and expand its rich experience at the forefront of thinking about participation in development, and our emerging work at the intersection of participation and markets, to co-create with the Economic Advancement Program (EAP) at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) a deeper understanding of participation in economic advancement in general, as well as how EAP can bring participatory approaches into its own practice.

We will do this through two intersecting workstreams (WS1 and WS2), as follows:

WS1: Building an evidence base for participation in economic advancement: Through mapping and co-inquiry with EAP and its partners and others in this field, we will identify existing initiatives and experiences of how meaningful participation and engagement of economically disenfranchised people can occur - and challenges be overcome - in areas such as economic investment, economic policy making, creation of economic alternatives, and the transformation of economic systems that perpetuate vulnerability.

WS2: Putting ideas into practice: effective participation in grant making processes: Starting with mapping of existing practices, and through co-inquiry with OSF and partners, we will support EAP to build knowledge and skills to put into practice its commitment to participation and engagement of beneficiaries in its own programming through the stages of diagnosis and program design, implementation, and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL).

Key contacts

Photo of John Gaventa


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Photo of Jodie Thorpe, Globalisation research fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915732


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Marina Apgar photo

T: +44 (0)1273 915778


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Project Dates:
June 2017 - December 2018
Project Status:
Total project value:
$ 310,008
Open Society Foundation
Research Themes / Programmes:
Economy and Finance
Participatory methodologies